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Question about SEO Performance of different multi-lang approaches

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Hey everyone! 😁 How are you doing?


Could someone kindly help me understand the differences between the following options of hosting/structuring a multi-language SquareSpace site, in terms of SEO advantages/disadvantages?

  1. current system: different domains per language, with a single global landing page to access each language's respective home page (in other words: with no direct connection between specific pages, in different languages).
    *I've read that this is one of SquareSpace's officially recommended ways of building multilingual sites on the platform, but IMHO it leaves a lot to be desired, mainly with regard to cost and usability.*
  2. same as above, also with individual domains per language, but with a language switcher integrated into the navbar, via code-injection (ie. with a direct connection between specific pages, in the available languages).
  3. single domain, instead divided in language subdomains. Also with a code-injected language switcher (and thus with direct connections between pages in different languages, as well).


Also, if changing from one of the first two approaches to the third, that is, if changing the site structure completely, what would happen to the way search engines previously indexed/crawled the site and the way it's "served" (not sure about the right terminology) to users? And which would then be the recommended steps to ensure it is properly and efficiently searchable again?

(Apart from changing external links to the site from other webpages, of course. And also just on a general level, ex. using Google's URL Inspection Tool or Search Console; not necessarily going deep into it, with metadata, keywords, etc. which, as I understand, is a whole other beast... 😬)


TLDR: what are the SEO consequences of having a site with VS without direct connections between pages in different languages? Does it matter if the connections are dynamically added via scripts? And what about changing from a long-standing multi-domain approach to single-domain with subdomains, on a search results level?


Thanks a lot in advance! 😄

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